"brilliant technique and real emotional depth"

The Washington Post


Born and raised in Texas to a family of musicians from Poland, pianist Adam Golka (1987-) has won widespread critical and popular acclaim with his “brilliant technique and real emotional depth” (The Washington Post).  He has garnered international prizes including the 2008 Gilmore Young Artist Award, first prize in the 2003 China Shanghai International Piano Competition and the 2009 Max I. Allen Classical Fellowship Award of the American Pianists Association.

With his extensive concerto repertoire, Golka has appeared as a soloist in the United States with the Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Indianapolis, New Jersey, Milwaukee, Phoenix, San Diego, Fort Worth, Omaha, Santa Fe, Ann Arbor, West Virginia, Fairfax, Silicon Valley, Rhode Island, Jacksonville, Syracuse, Pensacola, Lansing, Knoxville, Albany, Waco, South Dakota, Southeast Texas, and Grand Rapids symphonies, and with the Grand Teton and Colorado Music Festival orchestras. Internationally, he has appeared with the BBC Scottish Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa, the Sinfonia Varsovia, the Shanghai Philharmonic, the Warsaw Philharmonic, Orchestre Poitou-Charentes, the Orquesta Filarmonica de Jalisco, and the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra of Venezuela. He has worked with conductors such as Donald Runnicles, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Pinchas Zukerman, Mark Wigglesworth, Michael Christie, Andreas Delfs, Edwin Outwater, David Lockington, Daniel Hege, Joshua Weilerstein, Jacques Lacombe, Christian Vasquez, Julian Kuerti, Michael Morgan, Timothy Muffitt, Ryan McAdams, as well as his brother, conductor Tomasz Golka. Adam made his Carnegie Hall Isaac Stern Auditorium Debut in 2010, performing Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto with the New York Youth Symphony.

Further afield, he has played solo recitals at the Concertgebouw’s Kleine Zaal, Musashino Civic Cultural Hall in Tokyo, Nakanoshima Hall in Osaka, the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, and at festivals such as Mostly Mozart, the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, the Ravinia Festival, Music@Menlo, the New York City International Keyboard Festival at Mannes, the Newport Music Festival, and the Duszniki Chopin festival. As a chamber musician, his festival appearances have included prestigious festivals such as Marlboro, Caramoor, Ravinia, and Music@Menlo. Adam Golka has premiered solo works written for him by Richard Danielpour, Michael Brown, and Jarosław Gołembiowski. 

In the 2014-2015 season, Golka will perform a series of recitals, at the invitiation of András Schiff, in Berlin, Zurich, and New York (presented by the 92nd Street Y). Adam will also perform concertos of Beethoven, Chopin, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Ravel with the Vancouver, San Diego, Richmond, Evansville, Brevard, and California symphonies, as well as a solo recital at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and a recital tour in Israel.

Adam holds Artist Diplomas from Texas Christian University and the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with José Feghali and Leon Fleisher, respectively. In his earlier training, he studied with his mother, Anna Golka, and Dariusz Pawlas of Rice Univesity. Since finishing his official studies, Adam has continued his work in lessons with András Schiff, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, Murray Perahia, and Rita Wagner. 

Adam Golka has been appointed Artist-in-Residence at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA beginning in the 2014/2015 season. His début disc, featuring the first sonata of Brahms and the Hammerklavier Sonata of Beethoven, was released in 2014 on First Hand Records.




"He displayed a sure technique and remarkable musical insights...Golka was worth watching."
Cliburn Festival, THEATERJONES, March 10, 2015
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"Golka gave one of the best performances of the festival, ever alert to his partners’ needs and contributing greatly to a lyrical and dramatic masterpiece that was engrossing throughout."
Cliburn Festival, THE STAR-TELEGRAM, March 8, 2015
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"He gave the music lovely lilt when wanted, but spun out the gentle slow-movement flourishes with improvisatory freedom. This was quite a fetching performance."
Cliburn Festival, THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS, March 8, 2015
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"Golka put the challenge in front of conductor and orchestra with incredibly fine technique and the expressive music-making of the greatest masters... his intimate involvement with phrasing and nuance is superb."
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 w/ USC Symphony Orchestra, FreeTimes, November 20, 2014
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"Golka's well-oiled fingers navigate the Beethoven's first-movement provocations fluently, with amazingly even trills to boot..."
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"Golka plays with a fine sense of line and a good legato... this is a distinguished debut CD. I look forward to hearing Golka’s current playing..."
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"The pianism itself was superb: I shall not soon forget Golka’s crisp articulation or his powerful and sharply-etched trills."
Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2 w/ Vancouver Symphony, VANCOUVER CLASSICAL MUSIC, October 17, 2014
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"Adam Golka‘s piano playing was superb (...) It seemed like Golka has the rare ability to, in a split second, ask each note how it would like to be played before laying down his fingers."
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2 w/ Ann Arbor Symphony, THE ANN ARBOR NEWS, March 23, 2014
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"The pianism itself was superb: I shall not soon forget Golka’s crisp articulation or his powerful and sharply-etched trills."
Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2 w/ Vancouver Symphony, VANCOUVER CLASSICAL MUSIC, October 17, 2014
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"One highlight was the gorgeous rendition of Gyorgy Kurtag’s “Jatekok IV” by the pianists Michael Brown and Adam Golka (...) one player silently pressed multiple keys so that their corresponding strings vibrate along, adding a pastel shimmer to the notes played by the other."
Gyorgy Kurtag‘s "Jatekok IV" w/ Michael Brown, THE NEW YORK TIMES, January 5, 2014
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"[He] excelled in both languid and technically quick passages, showing very fluid playing against the orchestra’s light and crisp sound."
Ravel Piano Concert in G w/ New Jersey Symphony, December 4, 2013
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"Golka and the orchestra gave a majestic performance of the Brahms."
Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 w/ Ft. Worth Symphony, STAR-TELEGRAM, November 16, 2013
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"Golka connected in his recital two qualities, which rarely go together: effective virtuosity of an old style, of the romantic “sorcerers” of the piano, as well as an absolute concentration on the inner meaning of the music."
Recital in Wroclaw Poland, RUCH MUZYCZNY, July 7, 2013
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"The balance of expressive and technical demands captured the attention just ‘on paper,' and as the printed program came to life in performance, it was clear that Golka, 24, was more than capable of putting something personal behind every phrase."
Beethoven, Brahms, Liszt concert review, Butler University, THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR, April 16, 2012
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"Displaying a firm, forceful touch on the four-movement work's dynamic passages and a buttery tone on its more reflective moments, the 24-year-old Golka brought the Waco Hall crowd to its feet with his playing and musicianship."
Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2, Waco Symphony Orchestra, WACO TRIBUNE-HERALD, January 14, 2012
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“It was obvious throughout that Golka knows this music intimately (...) a special, probable once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most listeners, exceeding all expectations.”
Lubbock Symphony season opener, Complete Beethoven Piano Concerti, THE LUBBOCK AVALANCHE-JOURNAL, September 24, 2011
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"These were absolutely stunning performances - luminous, probing, deeply personal and drawn with unerring emotional accuracy."
Recital, Washington International Piano Festival, THE WASHINGTON POST, August 1, 2011
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"Golka's finest playing came in the legato poetry of the slow movement (...) Golka drew plenty of fireworks from the piano in the finale, yet never sounded forced."
Tchaikovsky Concerto No. 1, West Virginia Symphony, Grant Cooper, THE CHARLESTON GAZETTE, January 28, 2011
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"Adam Golka, who despite a towering cold, played with easy grace and flashes of humor belying the true difficulty of the composition."
Ravel Piano Concerto in G Major, Pensacola Symphony, PENSACOLA NEWS JOURNAL, January 10, 2011
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"Golka proved himself a fast-developing artist with fresh ideas and purposeful individuality at the Hilbert Circle Theatre Friday night."
Beethoven Concerto No. 1, Indianapolis Symphony, THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR, April 10, 2010
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"Golka confidently embraced the emotional extremes and managed the stormy ascent of the latter piece's coda heroically."
American Pianists Association concert, The THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR, April 2, 2009
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"In the solo seat was Texan-born Adam Golka, making a formidable impression in his first UK appearance. He imbued Ravel's flowing writing with a wealth of colour and dynamic range..."
Ravel Concerto for Left Hand, BBC Scottish Symphony, Donald Runnicles, THE SCOTSMAN, February 23, 2009
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